A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts

My first attempt at quilting


I’ve been threatening to have a go at this for ages. I keep seeing all the lovely quilty things that Tree makes and puts on her blog, and each time I see them, I wonder if I could make anything like it. At the NEC show this year, I took the first step by buying some fabric but it’s been sitting in a drawer while I procrastinated. Sewing is scary when you haven’t really done any before, you know.

Yes, I know I’ve been sewing the frames for the cross stitched cottages, but it’s not really the same thing. Call that a warm up.

I’ve been looking at lots of patchwork cushion covers on Pinterest to get ideas and have been doodling different designs until finally, I came up with one that I liked. I thought a cushion cover would be an excellent thing to start with as we do actually need some, and they’re nice and small.

This is the stuff that I had to play with.


Firstly I worked out how big all the pieces would need to be and which ones I wanted to use where in my design. Then, I got cutting. I pressed each piece carefully, and then I got the sewing  machine out and started sewing. I kept going back to the iron and pressing the seams flat in between attaching pieces and this is how it came out.


I then fired up the laptop and checked a few websites to make sure I had some idea what I was doing next. Then, I took a deep breath, put the layers together and sewed.


I’m quite pleased with it. I can see that the fabric puckered in places. I’m not sure why. Maybe I need to adjust something on the sewing machine. Also, I wish I’d arranged the right column slightly differently as there’s a band going across as well as up/down. That was unintentional but I can live with it for a first attempt. I’d cut the batting and backing slightly larger than the front, as instructed, and have now trimmed it all off ready for putting the back on.

And there is where the problems have started. It was all going so well too. I’m planning to do the back in two overlapping pieces that fasten with buttons. Having cut the two pieces, I hemmed the edges that will overlap and then hemmed them again so no edges would be visible. Then I checked again to make sure the sizes were ok. They weren’t. The hemming had made them slightly too short so there wouldn’t be room for buttonholes. Sigh. Luckily I had some more of that fabric so was able to cut another of the smaller pieces.

I had the splendid idea of using the sewing machine to do the buttonholes. It does them automatically, according to the manual, so why not? I mean, how hard can it be? So, first I sorted out the buttonhole foot, and then read all the instructions several times until I felt confident. With foot attached, I set the stitch length, the stitch selector, and pulled down the little zip knob. I read the instructions again and made sure that I’d followed all the steps. Then I set about making a buttonhole – on a scrap of fabric. Not doing it straight onto the back proved to be an excellent idea as on the first go, it just stitched a lump. On the second it stitched a slightly longer lump. On the third, it ate my fabric and I had to dismantle the bobbin holder to get it out. On the fourth, after I’d ironed some interfacing to the back, it just stitched a long line that didn’t resemble a buttonhole in the slightest.

Then the phone rang, saving my machine from being sworn at and very possibly kicked. My car, which had gone to get its air con fixed, was ready for collection. Oh how lovely it was to drive home in a cool car, although I may have had the air con turned up a bit too high as I fear I may now have frostbite and therefore can not do any more sewing today. The sewing machine may be thankful for that.

I’ll try those buttonholes again tomorrow. After I’ve had a wee look on Google to see if I can figure out what’s wrong.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

6 thoughts on “My first attempt at quilting

  1. Beautiful. I have to confess to doing button holes by hand…


  2. It looks absolutely smashing – I like that pansy fabric very much. Not sure what is going wrong with the buttonhole situation – it should stitch a rectangle with a narrow gap in between the two long sides (use seam ripper to make the hole in that).


    • I’m not sure what’s going wrong myself. I kept checking the instructions to make sure that I hadn’t missed a step anywhere but it looks like I was doing it right. It sewed a straight line instead of the rectangle though. I’ll have another look at it tomorrow. I’ve been crocheting today 🙂


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